This past week, Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, officiated at the opening of Africa’s first all-female solar panel manufacturer in Cape Town.
It is also the world’s only Tier-1 small solar panel manufacturer that is German-certified.
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Ener-G-Africa (EGA), a South African and Malawian energy company, invested a total of $2,1 million (approximately R36 015 000.00) in EGACQUEST (Pty) Ltd to establish the 20 MW per annum solar panel assembly plant in Ndabeni, which will be operated solely by female technicians.
This plant, according to Alderman James Vos, will serve the local market as well as export to the rest of Africa. He explains that the City government is moving forward with projects that take advantage of energy supply opportunities in order to create a more economically sustainable future for our children, and indeed, for ourselves, right now.
Alderman Vos welcomed this company’s investment in Cape Town, describing it as coming at a critical time in South Africa, when the country is experiencing its worst electricity outages, forcing many businesses and homes to turn to renewable energy, including solar.
“With an increased demand for solar panels, we can create job opportunities for the millions of currently unemployed South Africans. One report showed that the solar PV industry alone could create up to 30 000 jobs per year,” said Alderman Vos.
GreenCape, the City of Cape Town’s strategic business partner, was in charge of facilitating this investment.
GreenCape receives funding from the Economic Growth Directorate to assist the City in attracting investors in the green economy sector while unlocking the potential of this industry in a variety of fields.
“The time is now for renewable manufacturing. Cape Town and the Western Cape are ready! There is a growing appetite to invest in renewables amid the energy crunch with multi-year investment opportunities arising,” said the City and the Western Cape Trade and Promotion Agency, Wesgro’s Chief Executive Officer, Wrenelle Stander.
She continued, “These opportunities stem from the convergence of several factors, such as international shifts to clean energy, the focus on energy security globally as an outcome of the impact of the Russian-Ukraine conflict, the load-shedding crisis in South Africa, and the consequent policy shifts at a national government level to deregulate the energy sector. Wesgro will continue to support Ener-G-Africa. We are excited by the prospects that this new facility will bring.”
“Cost-effective energy efficiency improvements can have positive macro-economic impacts that boost economic activity and lead to increased employment. There has never been a more critical point to make real commitments towards moving away from fossil fuels and turning towards the vast energy opportunities of renewables,” said Alderman Vos.
‘Investment in these sectors is good for business, people, and the planet, and therefore the City and our partners stand ready to work with industry so that we can make Cape Town the easiest place to do business in Africa,” Vos continued.
Picture: City of Cape Town